Testing ACTi E97 10MP Camera

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 13, 2014

$200 for a 10MP camera? Too good to be true or the next big thing to stand out from the commoditizing HD market?

After years going sideways, ACTi is pushing hard with an ambitious, broad line of low cost products. Their recent release of the 10MP E97 minidome is perhaps the best example, drawing a lot of attention for its $200 price.

Non proprietary, H.264, 10MP cameras are pretty rare. Arecont has the widest offerings here. And, interestingly, Arecont likes to brag that camera decisions are all about getting the most pixels per dollar. Indeed, if that is the case, this new ACTi blows Arecont away.

The Test

Low cost and higher resolution are clearly two of the biggest needs in surveillance, so we bought an E97 and matched it up against the Arecont 10MP (which we tested here) as well as the Axis M30 1080p (tested here).

Here's what they look like in our test setup (from left to right, ACTi E97, Arecont AV10115, Samsung SNB-5004, and Axis M3005):

Our goal was to determine:

  • Whose 10MP image quality is better - the ACTi or Arecont? Both in day and night scenes
  • How much of a difference did the 10MP ACTi and Arecont do against the 1080p Axis? Both in day and night scenes
  • What type of bandwidth premium did the 10MPs require compared to the 1080p?
  • Overall, what benefit, if any, does a $200 10MP deliver compared to current offerings?

$*** *** * **** ******? *** **** ** ** **** or *** **** *** ***** ** ***** *** **** *** commoditizing ** ******?

***** ***** ***** ********, **** ** ******* **** **** ** ambitious,***** ****** *** **** ********. ***** ****** ******* ** *** **** E97 ******** ** ******* *** **** *******, ******* **** ** ********* *** *** $*** *****.

*** ***********, *.***, **** ******* *** ****** ****. ******* *** the ****** ********* ****. ***, *************, ******* ***** ** **** that ****** ********* *** *** ************ *** **** ****** *** ******. ******, ** **** ** *** ****, **** *** **** blows ******* ****.

The ****

*** **** *** ****** ********** *** ******* *** ** *** biggest ***** ** ************, ** ** ****** ** *** *** matched ** ** ******* *** ******* **** (***** ******** ****) ** **** ** *** **** *** ***** (****** ****).

****'* **** **** **** **** ** *** **** ***** (**** left ** *****, **** ***, ******* *******, ******* ***-****, *** Axis *****):

*** **** *** ** *********:

  • ***** **** ***** ******* ** ****** - *** **** ** Arecont? **** ** *** *** ***** ******
  • *** **** ** * ********** *** *** **** **** *** Arecont ** ******* *** ***** ****? **** ** *** *** night ******
  • **** **** ** ********* ******* *** *** ***** ******* ******** to *** *****?
  • *******, **** *******, ** ***, **** * $*** **** ******* compared ** ******* *********?

[***************]

Key ********

**** *** *** *** ******** **** *** ****:

  • *********** ** **** ***** ** ****** ***** (~**' ** ******, ~60' ********** ***) ******** ****** **** *** ** ** ******* AV10115, **** **** ******* ** ******* *** *****.
  • **** ***** *********** ** ****** ***** (~**' ** ******, ~***' HFOV) ********** **** ***** **** ******* *******, **** ***** **** less *******, *** ** ****** ***** ******** *** **** *******.
  • *** ***** *********** ****** **** ******* *******, **** ********* ********, but ** ******* ********.
  • *********** ****** **** ******* *****, ******* ** ** ********* *********** the ****** ** *******.
  • ********* *********** ******** ***** **** ******* ******* ** **** ***** (though **** ****** ** *** *****, ***** *** ******* ******** an *********** ***** *****).
  • *********, ******** ** ***** *******, ** *** **** ***** ****, was ** ******* *** *** **** **** ******, * ******* increase.
  • *** ********* ** *** ***** **** ** (****** ******* ***********) to ** ** ******, *********** ******** *******. **** ******** ** matter ***** ********* ****** *** ****, *** ** ***.

*******

***************

*** *** ****** ******** ********** ** ****, ****** *** ****** of ****, ********** ****** **** ******* *** **** ***** ***** than *********** **** *******. *******, ** ****** ******, **** ******* is ****, ******** *** ********** *** **************. ** *** ***** is * *** *******, ***** ***** ** ****** *** ***** 1080p ********** ** *****, ** **** ********* ** ********, ** most, ***** *** ***. ************, ** ******** *** * ******** increase ** ******* *****, ***** *** ~** ******* ********* ***********.

*************, **** ** ********* ***** **** ******* ** **** **** include ********** ** *** ********* ******, ***** *** ** * better ****** *** ***** ******* * ************ ****** **** ****** resolution *** ****** *** ***** ***********.

Factory ***** ******

** ***** *********** ***** ****** **** *** *** *** ** the ***, ******* ****** **** ** ***** ***-******* **** *** factory. ********** *** ** ************ ** ********** * ******* **** and ****** ******* *** *** ****, ****** **** ****** **** ~10-15 *******. *** ***** ***** ***** *** *********** ** *********** between ******* ***** *** ********** *** *******:

** ********* ** *********** ***** / ******* ****** ******* ***** rather **** ****** * **** **** *** ****** *** ******* out ** *****.

Physical ********

** **** ***** ** ****** *** ******** **** ****** ** the ****** *** *** ********:

Web ********* ********

**** ***** ******* *** *** ********* ** *** ***:

Video ******* ********

***** *** ***** ***** ** *** **** *** ** *** in **** **** ***** *** **** ****** ** *** ******'* max * ****** *** ******.

Image ***********

** **** *** **** **** *** ** *** ********** **** and ****** ****** ** **** **** *** *** ***** ************. We ****** *** *** ******* ******** *******:

  • *** ******* ******* ** * *********** **** ******.
  • *** **** ******, ** ***** ** **** *********** ******* ***** and **** ****** * ********* **** ***** ** **** (*** vs. ***).
  • *** ***-**** ** * ********** ******* * *** ***** ********* camera.

********** ****

**** ***** ***** *** *** **** ** **** ****:

**** *****

** ****** *** ******* ***** ~**' **** *** ******* ** order ** **** *********** ** ***** *******. ** **** ***** and *** *****, *** **** *** ******** ****, **** **** lines ******* **** *** ******* ******* (**** ** **** * **. line *), *** ******* ******* ** *** *******. 

*** *****

** *** *****, *** *** *** **** ****** *** *** test ***** *** *******, ***** *** ******* **** ******** ** usable *****. *** *** ***** ********* ******* ***-**** ****** *********** all *** ***** ******* ** *** ****.

******

** ***** *** **** ***** ** * ****** ****, ****** us * ***' ********** *** ** ***** ** *** *********** in *********** ** ****** *****.

**** ***** ***** *** *** **** ** **** *****:

**** *****

**** *** ******* ** **** ********, *** ***'* *********** **** behind *** *******, **** **** *** ***** **** ** *** chart ***** *******, ****** ******* ******* *** ******* *** ****. The ***** ** ****** ************ ** *** *** ** **** range.

*** *****

** **** *****, *** *** ** ****** ** ****** *** subject. *** ***** *** ***-**** *** **** **** **** ** detect *** ***** ** **** *****, *** *** *** *******.

*********

** *** *****, ** ****** ***** ********* ****** ** ***** (*** or ***), ********* ****** ******, *** ************ ********* ** *** light (**** ~** ** ~** ***** "****" *******). ***** ** this, ** ***** **** *** ***'* *** ************** ** ******, and *** ** **** ** ****** **** ** ********.

***** *** *******' ******* **********, *** *** ***'* ********* ***** was ***** **** **** *** ******* ******* *** **** ***** in **** *****, ****** ** *** *** ******* *********** ** low *****. *******, ************* *** ******* ** * *** (*** ***'* maximum), *********** ** *** ***** ***** ************* ** ***** .* Mb/s, *** ****** ********* ** *** ****. 

***** ****** **** **** **** ******** ** ********* ** ******* framerates **** ******** ********* ** ****, ** **** **** ****** in **** ****** ******* *****, ** ****.

Test **********

*** ******* **** ****** ***** ******* ********, ****** *** ********, which *** ************ ** */***. *** ********* ******** ******** **** used ** **** ****:

  • **** ***: ***-***-**.**.**-**
  • ******* *******: *****
  • **** *****: *.**.*.*
  • ******* ***-****: *.*********

Comments (17)

*** *** **** **** **** *** *** * *******?

** *** *** ************ *********** ** ********** ****** *** **** model, *** *** *****.

**, *** ****** *** *** *** ****, *** ** ***** not **** ** ********** ******** ** **** **** *** *** same.

**** **** ******** *** ****** *********** ** *** **** ****** 'system'.

***** *** *** *** ************. * ****** ** **** *** lens ** ******* **** ** * *** **** ****** **** give ** **** ** **. **** ** *** *** ***** being **** *** ***** **** ** **** * ***** ********** chart ** **** ** ********.

**** ****** ****** * ***'* *** *** ********* *********** ***** really ***** ****** *** *********** ****** *** ******* *** ***** the **** *********. ******* ***** ** *** ******, *** **** call ******* ***** **** *** *** ******* ***** ***** *** FPS. *** ** **** *** ** **** *'* ****** *** with *** ******* ** *** **** ***.

*** ****, **** *****. **'** ******* *** ****** **** * second, ************ ** *****.

**** *********** *** ********* ******** ******* *********** *** ******* ** IPVM ***** ** **** ****** ****** ***** ** *** *******. :)

**** **** ****. * ***** ** ******* *** *** **** Superior *** ***** ****** (****) ******** ** *** ******* ***** Light ********, ***** ********** *** ***** ** * **** ** the ******* *** ***** *********.

****'* * ***** ****** *** *** ************? * ** *** sure ***** **** ******* *** '****' ******** ** ***.

******** *****; ** * ****** ** ******** *** *.*** ** E95 *** ** *** **** ****** ** *** *** *** instance.

** * *** *******, ** ***** ** *** ***. *** secret ** ******** **** **** ************ *.*** ** *** *** Super *** *****. ***/***/***/**** *** *** ****.

* ******** ** **** *** ****** ***** *** * **** had ** ***** *** ****** ** ** *** *** **** very **** **** *******. ***** **** **** ** ****** **** quality ******* ******.

******, **** ********! ** **** *********** ** ******* ***** ******.* ** ***** ******* ** **** *** ************* ***** ** the *******. * ******* *****'* *** ** ** * ***** being ******** ********* **** ***. ***/**?

**** ** * ***** ********. * **** *** *** ** do **, *** ****** ****.

** **** **** ******* ******* *** *** ****** : "****'* what **** **** **** ** *** **** ***** (**** **** to *****, **** *****, ******* ***-****, ******* **** *** **** 10MP)" ...*** *** **** **** * ******* . ****** *****.

** ******* * ******* (****, *******, *******, ****) *** **** show * *******. ** * ******* ********* ****?

** ***** **** *** **** ** ** *** ***** **** in *** *** ** **. *******'* ** **** **** ***** to ****?

***, ******* ***** ** ****** * ****** ** ** *******, now ***** *******!

* ** ***** **** * ***'*, * *** **** ** return * **** *** *** ***'* * ******. * **** a ****** ******* **** ** ********* *** ****** ***** ** half *** *****!

*** *** ***** * **** ***********, *** ***'* *** ** use *** ** * **** ******, **** *****.

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